The brain is a body part too
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Avraam Karagiannis MBACP(Accred), MA, Cert. Supervision.
20th December, 20130 Comments
For some of us, talking about Mental Health, taking antidepressants or visiting a Psychotherapist or a Psychiatrist makes us feel "uncomfortable" or scared. It sometimes makes us feel embarrassed too.
Is it because we feel that it’s a sign of weakness to ask for help with psychological issues? Are we worried about how other people will react if we were to say: “I am feeling depressed, I think I need help”?Most probably these are some of the reasons why so many of us do not pay as much attention to our mental well-being as we do with our physical well-being; why we are reluctant to ask for help with what is happening to us psychologically and with our mind.
I understand why some of us are afraid to accept that we need help with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress and feelings of “losing it”. I can understand that we might feel embarrassed that others will judge us or will feel sorry for us. Some of us might be worried that asking for help with mental health issues will impact on our personal and professional life and that we may become stigmatized and rejected by our friends/family/colleagues.
The questions I would like to raise are:
“Is there a stigma in taking medication for a headache?”
“Would you talk to your G.P. if you had concerns about cancer?”
“Will you happily take contraceptives?”
The most probable answer is that we will openly admit that we need help in these situations and perhaps openly discuss it in social circles too.
I suppose what I am trying to say is that it’s time to remove the stigma around Mental Health and Psychological Well Being; to accept and understand that the mind is just like any other part of the body.
“We whisper about mental health issues and create misjudgments. The brain is a body part too, we just know less about it.” (President Barak Obama 2013).
For some of us there comes a time when the mind gets overloaded with emotions, problems and anxieties. When this happens, what it needs is attention from a specialist - be that talking therapy (Counselling/Psychotherapy), medication (GP/Psychiatrist) or a combination of the two.
Some individuals are anxious that they will become dependent on therapy. For some people, a small number of visits to a counsellor/ psychotherapist will be enough; others might need more sessions, and perhaps a combination of medication and talking therapy. It’s just like with any physical illness; some are chronic and some get treated more easily.
Let us all try and look after our Psychological Well Being in the same way as we look after any other part of our body.
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